These beautiful Renaissance-style gardens, designed in 1534 by Ferdinand I instead of vineyards, were at the time among the most beautiful in the world. Exotic fruits were grown and a sumptuous garden was maintained in which prestigious royal receptions were held. The alleys are shaded, the flower beds well maintained, the lawns impeccable, the birds, the calm, the squirrels that pass by are an enchantment. They are now the very beautiful way out of the visit to Prague Castle and offer a magical setting to reach Mala Strana. If you find it too busy during the day, don't hesitate to come back in the evening, when the alleys are empty of tourists.
Along the deer moat, the pavilion of the Jeu de Palme (Mičovna) is a fine example of Renaissance architecture designed by the German architect Bonifác Wohlmut (1569). We will notice the superb sgraffitoes that decorate its facade. It hosts exhibitions.
The modern orangery stands in contrast to the other buildings: it was designed by the Czech architect Eva Jiřična, who used his favourite materials, metal and glass, as in most of his creations in Prague.
Basically, Queen Anne's Belvedere, in the purest Italian Renaissance style, is considered to be the most successful building of its kind north of the Alps. It was built by Ferdinand I of Habsburg for his wife Anne. He tried to keep his construction secret. But this one lingered (from 1537 to 1563) and the queen could never see it completed. Among the bas-reliefs decorating the facade, Ferdinand offers figs to his wife. Its esplanade offers a superb view of Prague. You can only enter the building when it is the site of temporary exhibitions.
Don't forget to squat under the singing bronze fountain (zpívající fontaná). It faces the Belvedere and if the surroundings are not too crowded with visitors, you can actually hear it "sing": the drops, as they fall, make the alloy vibrate and the waves resonate all along the fountain like musical notes. It is the work (1568) of Terzion and Tomáš. In 1950, it was placed here, in the middle of a French Renaissance garden square. On Saturday, you will have the opportunity to see many newly married couples having their pictures taken in these beautiful gardens.
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